I would like to share my idea of 'Easy DIY PLL light fitting for planted aquariums' with all. Enough of those costly ready-made fittings that burn a good hole in our pockets. In this instructable i will showcase my idea of how i made my own PLL light fitting using cheap and easily available materials.
The fitting is working very well for me and is installed since May'14. This project has costed me INR 300/-.
Step 1: Gather All the Materials.
Well, as we all know circle is one of the strongest geometrical shapes. That is why we can see that there many pillars of bridges or flyovers etc made in circular shape.
So for making the frame, I have used Plastic PVC of 20 mm diameter.
List of things needed for this project:
20 mm PVC pipe (Hard plastic) - 3 X Length of the aquarium.
L-joints - 4 nos.
T-joints - 4 nos.
Butter paper / Tracing paper.
PLL Light along with it's connector and choke wired with the 2 pin male plug.
Metal sheet - Same area as of aquarium's base.
2 self screwing screws.
PC cooling fan 12 V.
12 V AC-DC Adapter.
Step 2: The Plan!
This is how i planned to make the frame.
As I have shown in the above image, there are two views:
The First image is the 'front view' of the aquarium. Here you can see that two L-joints have been used. The gray color is PVC pipe and Black color are joints. Blue color is the water :D.
Here we have two vertical sections and one horizontal section, two L-joints and two T-joints.
In the second image you can see the top view. Here you can see how the T-joints have been used.
Here we can see two bridge sections, four T-joints and four L-joints.
So this is the plan of the 'frame / chassis' that we are going to make to be mounted on top of the aquarium. The step-by-step pictorials is shown in the forthcoming steps.
Take measurements according to your aquarium size.
Following are the measurements I have take for my 24X12X12 inch tank.
- Vertical section : 85 mm.
- Horizontal section : 400 mm.
- Bridge section : 120 mm.
- Joining sections between the L-joint and T-joint : 60 mm.
Step 3: Making of the Frame ( Ref. Front View)
So finally lets starts with the interesting parts of cutting, fitting, setting.
First we are going to make the Frame as seen in the 'Front view' image.
1) Cut the PVC pipe to get vertical section using a hacksaw. Cut a rectangular groove at the bottom of the vertical section; thickness being little more than that of the aquarium glass thickness.
2) Fix an L-joint to the vertical section.
3) Fix the joining section to the L-joint.
4) Fix a T-joint with it's middle part pointing perpendicular to the ground as shown in the third image.
5) Fix the horizontal section to the T-joint. Fix one more set of T-joint, joining section, L-joint and vertical section to the other end of the horizontal section.
You will get an assembly as shown in the sixth image.
6) Repeat 1) to 5) to get one more set of the frame. ( ref picture seventh ).
Step 4: Finishing the Frame ( Ref. Top View)
Cut out two bridge sections using a hacksaw. Fix one of the sections on the first T-joint and the other one to the second T-joint as shown in the first image.
Fix the other ends of both the bridge sections to the T-joints of the second frame such that you get the final assembly as shown in the third image.
Step 5: Making the Fitting for the PLL Light Connector.
Cut out a rectangular metal piece the length of which must be atleast 40 mm greater than the total width of the PVC pipe frame.
Hold the PLL connector and fix it in the middle of the metal strip using a screw and a screw driver.
note: You will have to puncture metal first and then screw.
After getting the connector fixed, slightly cut the metal on both the sides of the connector and bend the metal in the opposite direction. Do it in both top and bottom sides and you will get an assembly as shown in the fourth image.
Now bend the edges in curved fashion towards the connector. Refer fifth image.
Step 6: Fitting the Connector and Butter Paper to the Frame.
Now, cut out a rectangular shape from the sheet of butter paper / tracing paper of the size greater than the width of the frame.
Tape it on the bottom part of the frame using a sticky tape as shown in the first image.
Fix the PLL light to the connector assembly. Using the curved ends of the connector assembly, fit it on to the frame over the paper as shown in the second image.
The PLL light will hang form the other end applying weight on the paper. Hence. Use a thread or a bend wire to tie it to the bridge section of the frame as shown in the fourth image.
Step 7: Final Step : Making the Cover for the Frame.
Cut the metal sheet to be double the width of the frame and length little less than the total length of the frame.
Bend the metal sheet to form a curve. Cover the inner portion with aluminum foil. It's ready!
Carefully place the cover onto the frame. Place the full assembly over the aquarium, Plug in the light to the electricity source and turn the switch ON. There you have your own DIY PLL light fitting for your planted aquarium.
note: Select the wattage of the light according to your plant needs and tank dimensions.
Fix a PC cooling fan such that it blows air over the water surface. Connect it to the AC-DC adapter with positive and negative terminals connected properly.
Thank you for reading my instructable :-).